An eagle-eyed reader A self-proclaimed Verizon employee — and reader of Phone Arena — noticed that e-tailer Offwire has begun to offer accessories for a version of the iPhone 4 on Verizon. Most importantly, these items are clearly not typos: not only does Offwire allow you to browse by both “iPhone 4 AT&T” as well as “iPhone 4 Verizon,” a spot check indicates that manufacturers such as Case-Mate are already making different versions of their existing products for the upcoming handset — models like the Tough and Pop cases have separate SKUs depending on the carrier. Unfortunately, none of the Verizon-specific accessories (as opposed to existing AT&T iPhone products that will work with the new model by default) feature full-frontal images of the phone in question; it looks like accessory pages that would feature a stock front-facing AT&T iPhone have been replaced with “Image Coming Soon” placeholders.
With numerous sources having tipped the first CDMA iPhone for a Q1 launch and probable release, it’s really no long a matter of “if the iPhone comes to Verizon,” only when. Also, the specs on this device are still up in the air, but we suspect that it will be almost identical to the current iPhone on AT&T. In other words, we doubt that this model will be capable of 4G wireless broadband on VZW’s nascent LTE network: primarily because it would be a slap in the face to AT&T after a multi-year partnership that both parties hope to continue, but also because Steve Jobs has traditionally seemed reticent to adopt the latest technologies (like 3G) until Apple can make them work exactly how it wishes.
Update: So not only has Offwire seemingly pulled all of the products which once showed up in the iPhone 4 Verizon category, a commenter over at Phone Arena pointed out that Case-Mate already has a website dedicated to products for the upcoming handset. Or, it used to: the URL now redirects to a generic iPhone 4 landing page, but thanks to Google cache, the original content is still there. Specifically, the copy reads:
It’s coming. The Verizon iPhone 4 is on its way and we’ve got you covered with the largest selection of cases and accessories. Sign up to be the first to know when our Verizon iPhone products arrive and are available to order. From the Tough protective cases to the slim Barely There, our most popular cases have been redesigned to specially fit the Verizon iPhone.
That sounds pretty definitive to us, though we will note that the page goes on to acknowledge that “Verizon and Apple have yet to confirm the iPhone’s impending arrival,” possibly alluding to the fact that the other statements are based on publicly-available reports and not insider information. Still, combined with the domain registrations we found earlier today, this thing is looking more and more like a lock.
Update 2: And now Offwire’s catalog is completely down, perhaps to remove the iPhone 4 Verizon reference from the product dropdown menu shown in the image up top.
Update 3: After a pretty quick outage, Offwire is now back online — and as we suspected, the iPhone 4 Verizon option has been purged from that menu.